5 Ways to Avoid the Horrors of Every Student Film Set
This video is a masterclass in how to keep your student film (or any film, for that matter) on the rails. Take a look at mistakes you can easily avoid.
We’ve all been there. Whether it’s in film school or just shooting short videos with our friends, those “I just got a DSLR, come over on Saturday to help me shoot my short film!” shoots where the director shows up with nothing planned and everything goes wrong happen all the time. It can be a horrifying experience to say the least.
If you’re fortunate enough to have never experienced a film set like this, well the comedic YouTube channel Gus Johnson offers a pitch-perfect performance of what “every student film set” can be like.
Luckily though, this doesn’t have to be the case! Yes, you’re going to make mistakes when you’re first starting off. Many of the mistakes above do happen in real life. But rest assured, they’re all easily avoidable with some decent planning and common sense.
So, to save our filmmaking children (and our filmmaking children’s filmmaking children), here are five ways to avoid the horrors of every student film set.
1. Familiarize Yourself with Your Camera
One of the first mistakes (of many) that we see Johnson’s student film director character make is simply not being familiar with his camera. There really is no excuse for this. Even if you’re a student who has to check out a camera from your film school, there are so many resources available to you online where you can learn about every camera ever made.
Along with this full article that shares some of the best tutorials for all your favorite mirrorless and DSLR cameras, here are some specific camera guides to check out:
- Get Ready to Film with the Sony A7 III Using These Settings
- A Field Guide to the Low-Budget Panasonic GH5 Setup
- Unlock the Potential of Your Canon 5D Mark IV with These Tips
However, the issue isn’t always can you do it, it’s should you do it. If you’re operating with limited budget and time, adding more work to the post-production process is the last thing you want to do. This is especially true for film school students or when you’re first starting out: never add a problem for tomorrow that you can fix today!
So, if you’re still interested in a career in film and video, despite the horrors above, here are some more great articles and resources to help you along your way!
- Film School 101: Filmmaking Fundamentals, Assignments, and Exercises
- What’s Wrong with Your Student Film and How To Fix It
- Making a Short Film With Little to No Crew: The Aftermath
- 7 Film School Clichés You Might Want to Avoid
- Essential Advice on Producing Your Own Short Film
Cover image by Deepak Bhoj.